There are many media stories regarding the wealthy in our society donating to this cause or another. Reasons include fighting a disease like breast cancer, assisting with affordable housing, and ending food insecurities for families. MacKenzie Scott has donated $14.4 billion to over 1,500 charitable organizations since 2019. While this is an extreme example of philanthropy, everyday workers also find ways to help their communities by donating their time to shelters, helping underprivileged youth, and tutoring at local libraries.
However, philanthropy and volunteering are not just for people; corporations also join in on social causes. Corporate volunteering is where companies provide resources, time, and skillsets to non-profits and communities. Resources could be financial donations on behalf of the company; time can include developing a solution that a non-profit or person could not previously acquire; and skillset can come in the form of employees providing pro-bono services relating to their fields.
Benefits of Giving
There are numerous benefits to corporate volunteering. The first benefit is brand recognition—the feelings about a specific brand hinge on what is said in the media. If a brand has a negative story—their new product is a fire hazard—then people who have never interacted with the company or were thinking of buying their products will now take a step back to reconsider. On the other hand, if a brand is known for building houses for homeless families, potential customers will see the brand in a better light. The brand is now associated with doing good for society, which will also increase sales.
The next benefit involves the employees. While some may think that employees will feel pressured into volunteering their time when working at a company that embraces philanthropy, studies show that this is not the case for the most part. Corporations involved in giving create an environment that allows employees to determine their giving level through donations, skillsets, or supporting morale in the office. As a result, employees feel more engaged with volunteering. Employees can also benefit from better health. According to the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, employees who participate in corporate volunteering have higher levels of engagement at work and overall satisfaction. With employees having high satisfaction at work, the amount of employee turnover at the company is reduced.
The last main benefit of corporate volunteering is supporting a community or non-profit bettering the lives of others—many non-profits or communities need help to afford to hire a corporation to assist them. Corporate volunteering opens the door to connecting to the community, building relationships, and finding ways to truly help others and causes. Working together as a team (company and community) will determine the impact of volunteering and ways to help even more down the road.
Types of Corporate Philanthropy
There are many ways that corporations can help society through volunteering/philanthropy. Here is a list of ways companies can give back to communities:
- Matching Gifts—This is where a company offers to match donations by a stakeholder. If the stakeholder pledges 500 turkeys for a Thanksgiving drive, then the company will donate 500 as well.
- Volunteer Grant—This grant is where the company calculates the value of volunteer hours and donates that amount towards the charity’s social cause.
- Volunteer Time Off—The Company provides time off for their employees to volunteer within their community.
- Employee Grant—This grant allows the employee to choose which organization will receive the donation from the company.
- Community Grants—Community grants create a framework for non-profit organizations to directly apply for funding from a company to roll out socially beneficial programs and activities.
- Community Works—The company provides infrastructure, goods, or services to serve local communities.
- Scholarships—Scholarships provide financial support to students and community leaders.
- Volunteer Support—Companies use employee skill sets to help solve social problems and support communities.
- Corporate Sponsorship—Companies can sponsor charities and financially support specific causes.
All these types of giving can help create a better workplace environment and support great causes within a community.
Prominent Global Solutions (PGS): Answering the Call to Give
Much like their dedication to building customer relationships within Government contracting, PGS is dedicated to supporting the local community. In April 2023, PGS partnered with Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and Candace Dayton of the Joint Force Headquarters (JFHQ) for the annual Project Clean Stream event in Maryland. Every year, tens of thousands of volunteers gather trash from local streams, creeks, rivers, parks, and neighborhoods as part of the Alliance’s Project Clean Stream. The event helped support the local community while focusing on building employee camaraderie.
During the summer of 2023, PGS held an event to support the fight against food insecurity. PGS teamed up with the Committee for Helping Others (CHO) to pack snacks for families who need food. CHO provides goods and services to families unable to provide for themselves or obtain from government social service organizations. CHO operates a food closet for families and can provide even more for the community when teamed up with a company like PGS.
This Year’s Cause: Fall Planting Event
On October 14, PGS had planned to host a Fall Planting Event at Robinson Nature Center in Columbia, MD, to focus on removing invasive plant species while planting native plants. The event was rained out. So, we plan to reschedule the event for the Spring.
The Robinson Nature Center’s mission is as follows:
Our mission is to facilitate the enjoyment and understanding of our natural resources and to bridge the gap between people and nature. By inspiring sound environmental awareness, we promote responsible stewardship of our natural resources and strive to connect people of all ages with nature through experience-based education.
To continue to enjoy the natural environment of this nature park, the grounds must be taken care of, and invasive species must be removed.
Invasive plant species go beyond just annoying weeds. An invasive plant can have a detrimental impact on an ecosystem. Plants that are local to an area are deeply rooted in the soil. This ensures that soil is bound tightly and reduces erosion from rain or other water sources. When an invasive species takes over, the roots are shallow and loose. The loose soil will then erode faster when it rains.
Another issue caused by invasive species is the reduction of biodiversity. In a natural habitat, the local plant life provides food and cover for the native wildlife. When an invasive species takes over, all the different plant types are displaced while leaving the invasive species. This will then affect the wildlife, reducing their quality of life.
The last big issue comes in the form of fires. Invasive species monocultures can increase the frequency of wildfires due to becoming dry and brittle during the summer months when fires could occur. Ivys that climb trees can lead fires to treetops where it would be hard to put out or control the fire. The risk of fire would also cause potential danger to nearby structures.
PGS realizes the potential danger to the environment and the need for invasive species to be removed from Robinson Nature Center. In addition to removing the invasive species, PGS volunteers will plant native plants onsite. This will increase the number of local plant life, providing the wildlife with more sources of food and cover.